ATLANTIC - It had been 33 years since the Glenwood girls basketball had qualified for the state tournament. Not anymore.
The Rams hit a season-high 12 three-pointers and had four girls score in double figures to outrun and outplay an upstart Winterset team, 71-46, in the class 3A, Region 8 championship to punch the school's first ticket to state since 1979.
Glenwood coach Barry Loffelbein was at a loss for words after his
team's 22nd win in 23 games this season.
"It's a great feeling," Loeffelbein said. "I guess I'll tell you how it feels to be in state when we're actually at state."
Glenwood (22-1) will open state play on Tuesday against Davenport Assumption (22-2) in a 6:45 p.m. opening round game in Des Moines.
The No.5-ranked Rams got hot early against Winterset (20-5), hitting five of their eight first half three-pointers in the first quarter to set the tone against the smaller Huskies and their gameplan to pack the lane, double-teaming center Morgan Lucy. And the Rams made them pay.
Grace Newman hit three threes in the opening frame and five in the first half. Lexi Moreno added a pair from downtown and Lexi Fisher had another.
"If we've shot that well this season I don't recall which game," Loeffelbein said, whose team was 12-of-20 on three pointers for the game.
"They're a good team. We needed every one of them (threes)."
Glenwood led by as many as 16 in the first half and took an eight-point lead into halftime.
The Huskies wouldn't go away, however. After Glenwood went up 10 early in the third quarter, Winterset rattled off a 5-0 run to trim to lead to 40-35 with five minutes remaining in the quarter. But Glenwood responded with a run of their own, thanks to a pair of three pointers by Rachel DeYoung, another three and a layup by Newman and a short jumper by Lucy to extend the lead back to 16 with just under a minute to play in the third quarter.
The Rams owned the fourth quarter. A pair of layups by Fisher and a McKenna Henze free throw gave the Rams their biggest lead of the game to that point at 67-44. The Huskies never got closer than 19 the rest of the way.
Newman led the Rams with 21 points. Fisher added 17 and Moreno 13.
DeYoung pitched in 10 points off the bench and Lucy added nine points and five blocked shots.
EDITOR'S NOTE - More coverage of the Rams state tournament run will be published on this website in the coming days and in upcoming print editions of The Opinion-Tribune.